The Starfish and The Spider
The Book "The Starfish and The Spider" uses the amazing capabilities of starfish to survive and regrow damaged limbs as a powerful metaphor for leaderless organisations.
The authors suggest:
".. spiders and starfish may look alike, but starfish have a miraculous quality to them. Cut off the leg of a spider, and you have a seven-legged creature on your hands; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one. Not only that, but the severed arm can grow an entirely new body. Starfish can achieve this feat because, unlike spiders, they are decentralized; every major organ is replicated across each arm".
This idea resonates strongly with bioteams and the power of self-organising networks and collective leadership as explored in The Bioteaming Manifesto and elsewhere in my blog.
In the meantime heres an excellent ‘warts and all’ review of the book by David Robertson.
A 1-line summary of David's review might be “Great concept somewhat over-stretched to fill a book”.
All of nature's surviving species have successfully evolved into a sustainable position in a food web so I strongly suspect that today's organisations probably still have much they can learn from the poor old Spider too !
However I will, of course, reserve judgement till I read it.